Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) - Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Traimit Wittayaram Temple, is located at the end of Yaowarat Street. The same street which is the route to Wat Pho temple. The oldest of Bangkok and a popular tourist destination, Yaowarat Street is said to resemble dragon's curved body and since dragons to the Chinese are associated with auspicious meaning, most of the land and businesses in this street are owned by prominent Thai Chinese business people. For me, honestly, Yaowarat Street is akin any of our Chinatown. Nothing really special, not something I have not seen, its basically rows and rows of shops and stalls lined on both sides, and you need buckets and buckets of patience to drive through. But our coach driver just knew it. He vroomed in and out, before we knew we were in Wat Pho temple. 

One of the largest temple complexes that houses the largest collection of Buddha images, including the famed giant reclining Buddha, the large grounds of Wat Pho contain more than 1000 Buddha images in total, mostly from the ruins of the former capitals Ayuthaya and Sukhothai. The ground is split into two by Chetuphon road and the northern section where the entrance to Wat Pho is. Flanked by stone giants, clearly influenced by Chinese Thai design. Wat Pho contains a large bot (temple hall), enclosed by 394 bronze Buddha image and there are also a massive 91 others Chedis of varying sizes around the grounds, alongside with chapels, rock gardens, different types of statues, inscriptions, bell towers and resident fortune tellers.

Phra Uposatha, the main chapel at the heart of Wat Pho temple houses the sculpture of Buddha, known as Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn. Seated on a 3-tiered pedestal, and ashes of King Rama stored underneath. Wall paintings adorned behind and around the sculpture are truly a sight to behold because of the use of gold leaf and mother of pearl adds to the rich and almost divine feel of the area lower. West vihara holds the image of "Pak Nak Krok", the Buddha under the Naga (snake gods) where the seven snake gods rise above to protect Buddha.

The must see in Wat Pho, actually the central attraction is the famous and large “Reclining Buddha” image, created as part of Rama lll's restoration (1841-51). Measuring at 46 meters long and 15 meters high and  head of Buddha with tight curls on two bow pillows of blue, richly encrusted with mosaics is supported by his right arm. This stunning, impressive gold plated reclining Buddha was designed to illustrate the passing of Buddha into nirvana, soles of Buddha intricately inlaid with mother of pearl and designs on the feet are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified.

About an hour in Wat Pho, before we continued with our journey to the next destination. Stay tune.  

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  1. Love the intricacies of the statues... find work by the craftsmen.

  2. Beautiful pictures and nice writeup making me want to go.

  3. The Buddha looks pretty shinny to me =)

  4. lovely snaps. Have not been to any temple for very long time

  5. Another collection of culturally enriching superb photography :)
    Thank you!

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. I have been to Bangkok and I love the place, it is so lively and colorful.


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